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ICC CWCQ 2018: Major boost for Afghanistan cricket team

14 Apr 2018 CricTracker

Afghanistan team celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 10-team World Cup has added more life and meaning to the World Cup qualifiers. The new format has been criticised by many cricketing experts as only two associate teams will get a chance to face the top-ranked teams. While the top eight ranked teams secure automatic qualification, there are only two spots left for the remaining nations. Before the start of the tournament, Afghanistan were considered strong contenders to secure one of the two qualification spots.

However, Afghanistan have had a difficult road in the qualifiers. Their regular captain Asghar Stanikzai underwent an appendicitis surgery in February that prevented him from participating in the qualifiers. Rashid Khan, the 19-year old leggie took over the added responsibility of leading the side.

This added responsibility affected Rashid’s performance as the youngest captain in the World Cup qualifiers saw a dip in his wickets column. Stanikzai will slot in instead of Afsar Zazai, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. This change will boost the confidence of the team who have had a  see-saw outing so far.

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Afghanistan have a huge task ahead of them as they need to win their next two games with big margins to boost their net run rate. They also want Scotland and Zimbabwe to lose their next two games against West Indies and UAE respectively. They have won just one out of the last three games and have a NRR of -0.023.

Star players like Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi and Stanikzai must step up to bring their A-game to boost their chances of qualification. A spot in the World Cup will promote the development of the game in Afghanistan who will get a chance to prove their mettle against the best teams in the biggest tournament. Afghanistan will face-off against UAE on Tuesday (March 20), before taking on Ireland on March 23.

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